Facebook for Contractors: The First in an Ongoing Series on Social Media
Social media marketing isn’t going anywhere — it’s not a passing phase, it’s not just for teenagers and it’s not something contractors trying to grow their businesses can afford to ignore. On a busy day at the jobsite, especially with a full crew, using Facebook for contractors to market themselves is often easier said than done. It can be difficult to block out some time to snap a couple photos or take a video, write a little caption and post it to your social channels. But there are some easy (and, importantly, free!) steps you can take to remain relevant in today’s marketplace, and make a few great connections along the way.
Social media for contractors isn’t just a chore you have to put up with; it gives you an opportunity to speak for yourself, in your own words, to a huge audience — and, of course, attract some new customers your way. Over the next couple months, we will be taking in-depth looks at all the social media channels contractors can leverage to get a better foothold in their markets; today, let’s talk Facebook.
The Value of Facebook for Contractors
There’s a good chance you’re already on Facebook — along with your aunt, your buddy from college who loves sharing political memes and 2.5 billion others. In fact, 71 percent of all American adults are on Facebook, along with 90 million small businesses, and most contractors can’t afford not to put themselves out there on this lucrative marketplace. It’s a massive platform that you should be taking full advantage of, both through your personal page and one for your business. So what kind of content would be awesome to post here?
- Photos and videos from the jobsite
- Tips, how-tos and productivity hacks
- Live video broadcasts
- Customer testimonials
For most folks, Facebook is going to get you the most engagement of any social media platform — comments, discussions, direct messages and so on — and that presents a huge opportunity for lead conversion. Post content regularly (weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. work best), then get out there and engage with your followers. Take a little time each day to respond to questions, facilitate discussions, be open and, if your follower’s a fellow tradesman, “like” his or her page in return. Like, comment on and share other users’ content too; a little karma will go a long way. Keep it up, and you can have a whole host of people talking about your business, without you even having to ask them.
You probably won’t get much business out of joining a Facebook discussion group for your trade, but you can find great collections of like-minded peers to learn from, trade tips with and maybe even share some horror stories. Some of the best drywallers in the business are regularly posting in Facebook groups like Drywall Junkies / Steel Stud Addicts and Drywall Dizasters, and there’s no reason not to join up, network and learn a thing or two. (And stay tuned: Trim-Tex will soon be starting our own discussion group to share tips for all our products and field questions!)
Great Content Ideas on Facebook for Contractors
If you’re like a lot of contractors, editing together a polished video may take too much time to be a realistic option. So instead, you could set up your phone on a cheap tripod and start up a Facebook Live stream (learn how here). Your followers can watch your process as you work, and it’s a fantastic tool to field questions and provoke discussions live, from your jobsite straight to your followers’ phones or computers. Our pal Icerock Drywall does these Facebook Live videos all the time, so follow him to catch his next live tutorial.
Even simpler, people have always loved a good before-and-after series of photos. If you’re pressed for time, as so many contractors are, and can’t pause on the job to document your progress as you go, you can just take two photos: before you start and after you finish. These never fail to wow your audience. Check out our own Joe Koenig making a cameo in these photos from our friends at Drywall Nation, who used some of our vinyl drywall corner beads on a recent project:
If you don’t have time to take photos or videos (or you bump up against an NDA at the job), you can still post content to your page regularly — you can take five seconds to ask your followers a question on a topic that will spark conversation. Don’t overthink it; just be yourself and you’ll find your audience!
Read more tips from the Trim-Tex knowledge base here, and hey, while you're at it, follow Trim-Tex on Facebook!